Trade bodies across Europe have signed the European Declaration on Paper Recycling 2011-2015 that aims to optimise the lifecycle of paper and board.
The declaration has been put together by the European Recovered Paper Council (ERPC).
Bodies including the Confederation of European Paper Industries and the European Recovered Paper Association will aim to ensure that the correct systems are in place to encourage paper recycling. This will include giving priority to waste prevention in manufacture of paper and paper board products through to the collection and recycling of paper.
The declaration also calls for an end to commingled collections. It states: “Paper collection must at least remain at current high levels in countries where it already reached levels of above 70 per cent and should still increase in countries where it is below 60 per cent. Countries should develop appropriate and efficient collection systems.
“To secure used paper collected in Europe can be recycled in the paper industry, multi-material collection schemes (commingled collection) where all recyclable materials are collected in one stream must not spread further in Europe and must be phased out where it exists.
“Commingled collection has proved to be much less efficient in terms of quality and cost of the complete paper recycling process compared to separate collection of paper and risks deviating paper to recovery options lower in the waste hierarchy.
“Countries where commingled collection is predominant today must make significant progress towards the targets on separate collection set out by the Waste Directive.”
It adds that the provisions of the Waste Directive with respect to separate collection must be implemented and enforced throughout Europe.
In his introduction to the Declaration, European Commissioner for the Environment Janez Potocnik said: “The Declaration is fully in line with the European objective to build a circular economy aiming at using waste as resource. I am therefore happy to support the approach taken by the sector and to wish a long and successful life to this Declaration.”